Billingford Mill is maintained by The Norfolk Windmills Trust:
There may be more water pumps than mills, for these former relics of times past were used to pump out water from the county’s precarious terrain reclaimed from the sea.
Were it not for the rooftop in between, the Billingford Mill would have been beautifully framed by our hotel bedroom window. It was this that drew me out early on this dewy morning to wander into the field in which it stood, and along footpaths around it. Sunlight lent a glistening sheen to the willowherb running to seed, and a warning glitter to delineate the strands of the spider’s webs thus deterring flies from entering. These circular spun traps festooned the long grasses bent under the weight of the recent rain.
Returning to the side road by the pub, I passed The Old Smithy, The Old Bakery, and various other cottage dwellings, and walked down to a junction at which I turned right to Brome and Oakley before retracing my steps in time for breakfast.
Shorn stubble stubbornly protruded from some of the fields. In others cattle were enjoying their own morning fodder. The road crossed a surprisingly fast-flowing stream.
As Jackie and I descended the fire escape on our way to the bar, a fast-moving vehicle pointed out a hitherto unnoticed fact. The fire escape led directly, and I mean directly, into the road. There was, in any case, no pavement.
Our most congenial hostess provided a breakfast equally as excellent as yesterday’s. She confirmed she had, indeed, prepared all the Sunday lunches herself, having a little waiting help. I have revised my impressions of this establishment, which is in fact much more pleasant than the rather basic room suggested.
Pondering the two Billingfords conundrum, I decided the answer must lie in the postcodes. That of The Horseshoes begins IP (Ipswich); whereas Sue and John’s home, The Old Chapel, starts with NR (Norwich). Maybe The Horshoes was once in Suffolk, the county of Ipswich. Newark, after all, in Nottinghamshire, was originally part of Lincolnshire. My former home there, Lindum House, translated from the Latin, would read Lincoln House. Our landlady said she sometimes receives mail which should go to The Street in the other Billingford.
We had a more pleasant drive back to The Firs where we learnt that visitors had continued to trickle in during our absence, and my cards had continued to sell. After a short stay we returned home, Jackie having intended then to drive us to Walkford with a present and card for Shelly, whose actual birthday it is today. In the event, after driving several hundred miles in three days, she decided she couldn’t do it.
Berties (sic) has moved to Lyndhurst. This fish and chip shop graced Lymington Road in Highcliffe for about forty years before being sold to the current owners, who moved to our nearest large village in 2012. Unfortunately for the proprietors and prospective diners, builders let everyone down over the work in the new restaurant, so locals have, until very recently, made do with a takeaway. Having eagerly awaited the opening, we learned that it has at last happened. When she woke from a well-earned sleep, Jackie drove us there where we enjoyed large haddock meals. Jackie drank coffee, while I had tea.